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Biomedical Engineers: Remote Work and Demand

Biomedical engineers play a crucial role in society. They develop various medical equipment and devices used to solve health problems. 

They also test new drug therapies and research along with biologists and scientists to design medical products such as cardiac pacemakers, prostheses, and other instrumentation.

Given the significance of their job, biomedical engineers spend most of their time in research centers, laboratories, and manufacturing plants. However, they can also work from home, thanks to various advancements in technology.

Can biomedical engineers work from home?

Yes. Biomedical engineers can work from home. Some processes and tasks such as computational biology and writing test reports only require a computer and internet connectivity. Alternatively, you can choose to join the academic world and become an online teacher.

However, biomedical engineering is not as flexible as other types of engineering. Biomedical engineers spend over 80 percent of their time in research facilities and manufacturing plants since their job involves designing, creating, and testing medical devices and equipment.

Working from home as a biomedical engineer can stunt your career growth. A biomedical engineer’s presence in the lab or manufacturing plant is significant since they have to design and test various medical and health equipment.

Biomedical engineers also have to inspect and monitor the manufacturing of medical devices to ensure they meet the highest quality and safety standards. This can be challenging or even impossible when working from home.

Even though they work a typical 40-hour week, as explained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biomedical engineers are always on-call. Overtimes are not uncommon in biomedical engineering. The expertise of a biomedical engineer may be necessary even during odd hours.

There’s also the issue of workplace safety. Biomedical engineers handle a lot of potentially toxic chemicals and hazardous materials that can cause great harm in the home.

Moreover, biomedical professionals risk exposure to burns, poisonous fumes, electric shock, and radiation. With this in mind, it makes sense to work from an office where safety measures are in place.

Then again, many companies consider working from home as a part-time position rather than a full-time job. For this reason, the expected salary for a remote biomedical engineer might not be adequate to meet your needs.

Where do biomedical engineers usually work?

Since biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary field, biomedical engineers must learn almost everything from medicine to computer science. You will essentially become a “Jack of all trades.”

The benefit of this multidisciplinary approach is that it opens up numerous career opportunities. 

Biomedical engineers can work in several places, such as:

  • Research facilities
  • Medical institutions
  • Educational centers
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Laboratories
  • Conventional offices

Their expertise can also be essential in various sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, software development, food processing, and robotics engineering.

Is there a high demand for biomedical engineers?

Yes. Biomedical engineers are in high demand both locally and in the world. They play a crucial role in the medical field and healthcare industry.

Biomedical engineering is a broad field with a positive outlook as the world shifts toward science and technology. Biomedical engineers remain among the most sought-after professionals, given their competence in various disciplines.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for biomedical engineers will grow 6 percent between 2020 and 2030. The number of job openings for biomedical engineers stood at 19,300 in 2020 and is set to rise by 1,400 in the next decade.

What is the best job for a biomedical engineer?

There’s no best or worst job for a biomedical engineer. In any case, what you may consider as the best job for yourself might turn out to be a horrible career for another aspiring engineer.

It all comes down to your preferences and passion. If you love computers and related applications, you can pursue a career as a software engineer for medical applications.

Biomedical engineers interested in outer space can join aeronautical agencies such as NASA and work in the biomedical engineering branch.

Alternatively, you can choose to join the academic world and become a lecturer at your local university or an online teacher.

Also see Can A Biomedical Engineer Become a Doctor?

Where do most biomedical engineers live?

Biomedical engineers can live anywhere in the United States. After all, their services are essential throughout the country. However, the top 10 best states for biomedical engineers, according to Zippa, are:

  • Oregon
  • Arizona
  • Minnesota
  • Wyoming
  • Maryland
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Connecticut

Which country is best for biomedical engineering?

The best country for biomedical engineering has to be the United States of America. The USA is home to top universities offering a wide range of bachelor’s degrees and Master’s programs for aspiring biomedical engineers.

The country also hosts world-renowned biomedical engineers, making it the ideal destination to study and learn the trade.

Here is a list of other top countries to study biomedical engineering:

  • USA
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania

What are the pros of being a biomedical engineer?

  1. Booming Career

Biomedical engineering is a lucrative career with a bright future since the world is shifting towards science and technology. Health and technology have come together to revolutionize medicine, meaning biomedical engineering will remain one of the most sought-after careers in the long haul.

  1. Multidisciplinary

As you already know, biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary field, meaning students learn various types of engineering such as electronics, chemical, mechanical, and nanotechnology. You will essentially become a jack of all trades, subsequently opening up many job opportunities.

  1. Easy Career Switch

If you want to pursue a career in medicine, academia, electronics, food processing, or energy, a degree in biomedical engineering can be a stepping stone to advancing your profession. Many biomedical engineers end up becoming physicians, surgeons, and medical doctors.

  1. Positive Impact on Society

No doubt, biomedical engineering has a very positive impact on society. Biomedical engineers work around the clock to ensure different medical equipment, instruments, and devices meet the highest quality and safety standards. They also test new drug therapies and constantly provide solutions that positively impact the community.

  1. Increasing Global Demand

The global demand for biomedical engineers is on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for biomedical engineers and bioengineers will grow 6 percent in the next decade from 2020 to 2030.

These stats translate to reduced unemployment rates for biomedical engineers. Job openings for biomedical engineers were over 19,300 in 2020 and are projected to rise by 1,400 in the next ten years.

What are the cons of being a biomedical engineer?

  1. Extremely Broad

As you already know, biomedical engineering is a broad field of study. Students have to learn a bit of everything from electronics to computer science. This multidisciplinary approach makes biomedical engineering highly competitive, meaning students have to specialize in a particular field to increase their chances of finding a job.

  1. Work Environment Hazards

Biomedical engineers sometimes work in very hazardous environments to research and conduct various tests. They handle potentially harmful chemicals and hazardous waste materials in labs and manufacturing plants. With this in mind, learning about workplace safety is vital for biomedical engineers.

  1. Possible Health Concerns

Biomedical engineers risk exposure to disease-causing pathogens, radiation, electric shock, burns, and toxic fumes without proper safety measures in place. These dangers can raise various health concerns at the workplace, so biomedical engineers need to wear protective clothing every time they are at work.

Can a biomedical engineer work at NASA?

Yes. A biomedical engineer can work at NASA and other aerospace agencies. If you didn’t know, NASA has a biomedical engineering branch that focuses on developing life-support systems to enable humans to breathe and live in space for extended periods.

As you probably know, outer space does not have oxygen. Astronauts have to resupply their breathing machines to facilitate further space exploration. However, they have minimal time to do so, and they must do it in the spacecraft.

Biomedical engineers work with scientists and researchers at NASA to develop life-support machines that can last more prolonged periods.

Can a biomedical engineer become a doctor?

Yes. A biomedical engineer can become a doctor. However, they must first complete their bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering before applying for a chance to join medical school.

Biomedical engineers aspiring to pursue a career in medicine must go through the same training as any other medical doctor. The good news is that they have a competitive edge over other applicants since they already have some background knowledge in medicine.

Besides, many medical training institutions appreciate the expertise biomedical engineers possess. For this reason, it is not surprising many engineers end up as physicians, surgeons, and medical doctors.

Final thoughts

No doubt, the global demand for biomedical engineers is growing every day. After all, biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary field, and biomedical engineers can work in a wide variety of industries. 

The best part is that biomedical engineers can now work from home, thanks to various advancements in technology. You do not have to appear in person to complete your tasks. 

Some processes such as research and testing do not require a biomedical engineer to commute to the office. You only need a computer and internet connectivity to submit your work online.